Orono Police Chief Correy Farniok confirmed that two adults were found dead inside the multimillion-dollar home of Irwin Jacobs, renowned businessman, former part-owner of the Minnesota Vikings, and owner of J.R. Watkins Co.
The two bodies have been identified as Irwin Jacobs, and his wife of 57 years, Alexandra Jacobs. It was apparently a murder-suicide.
“Officers with the Orono Police Department made entry into the home. Upon entering, we found two individuals deceased–one adult male, one adult female–they were both inside the house and a gun was recovered,” Farniok stated.
The bodies were discovered in a bed next to a handgun by a routine visitor of the residence, Police Chief Farniok confirmed in a press conference. It was revealed that the couple died of “multiple gunshot wounds,” while Alexandra’s manner of death is listed as homicide and Irwin’s as suicide.
“We don’t see this very often — in any of our communities, this doesn’t happen,” Farniok said. “We are taking this seriously. We’re looking at it from every aspect.”
More than half a dozen police and sheriff vehicles were at the scene. Crime scene tape sealed off the sprawling wooded lot with hundreds of feet of shoreline along Smith’s Bay and the Georgian Colonial-style mansion with a picturesque view of Lake Minnetonka.
Bob and Carolyn Nelson, who had been the Jacobs’ neighbors since 2003, said they didn’t hear anything unusual that morning, and only found out about the deaths upon returning from errands later that day.
Dennis Mathisen, who was a longtime business associate of Irwin, told the Star Tribune that he spoke with Irwin three days before, and “he was upbeat.”
Mathisen also said that Alexandra Jacobs “had been in a wheelchair for the last year or so and had signs of dementia. Irwin was just distraught over her condition.”
“Our family is shocked and devastated by the death of our parents, Irwin and Alexandra Jacobs,” the couple’s children said in a statement. “We are heartbroken by this loss, and we ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time.” They declined further comment.